Rabat – Morocco’s automotive industry is on the move. Morocco has become an auto hub, surpassing South Africa as the leading automotive producer.
The Wall Street Journal noted Morocco’s development in the automotive industry and its leading role in Africa on Sunday.
Morocco has emerged as the continental leader, surpassing South Africa with 345,000 passenger vehicles in 2017 over South Africa’s 331,000.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Morocco is also becoming a key supplier for European auto factories, “including Ford Motor Co.’s F 0.22% high-tech plant in Valencia, Spain, which imports car seats, interiors, wiring and other components from Morocco.”
The newspaper also predicted that car production on the continent, along with the Middle East, is “on road to outpace US and Europe.” Morocco is also expected to produce more cars each year than Italy.
Morocco has attracted several renowned automotive firms, including the Renault and Peugeot, to open plants in Morocco.
Renault has more than 40 percent of the market share in the region with two assembly plants, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The company produces more than 200,000 cars a year.
In September, Africa Intelligence said that Morocco is also keen to attract German giant automobile manufacturer Volkswagen.
The news outlet said that the company “is putting the finishing touches to a business plan for the establishment of an assembly plant in the country.”
Africa Intelligence added that representatives of the company have recently been in contact with Moroccan branches of “several international banks with a view to negotiating potential financing.”
No official statement from the company has been published yet.
In April, Morocco’s Minister of Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy announced Morocco’s determination to exceed MAD 100 billion in export sales by 2020.
The minister, who made his announcement during the 2018 Automotive Subcontracting Fair, said that Morocco wants to raise the bar to MAD 200 billion in exports with a production capacity of 1 million vehicles by 2025.
The country aims to attract foreign investments into the industry through a five-year corporate tax exemption and a 25-year exemption if most production is exported.
Recently, Morocco has attracted several investors to build plants making car parts, including Nexteer, Gestamp, Ficosa and Fiat subsidiary Magneti Marelli.